Pulut Inti

Saturday, 14 April 2012

What do pulut inti, kueh kochee, pulut chawan, lopes, ondeh ondeh, kueh salat, pulut tataa, kueh doldol, kueh bengka pulut, and kueh wajek durian have in common, apart from all of them being Nyonya kueh-kueh?

The 10 kueh-kueh are all made with coconut, and glutinous rice or glutinous rice flour. Yet they're all different as can be in texture, taste and look.

There're bananas in pulut tataa; kueh wajek durian has durian, of course; kueh doldol is gloriously dark because it's made with dark gula melaka; kueh bengka pulut is the only one that's baked; pulut chawan is shaped with Chinese tea cups; triangular lopes is eaten with dark gula melaka syrup; kueh kochee looks like miniature pyramids; kueh salat has a green custard top; ondeh ondeh is filled with melted gula melaka and dredged with grated coconut; pulut inti is very pretty with its mix of blue and white.

Of the 10 kueh-kueh, pulut chawan is the easiest. It's just steamed glutinous rice which is shaped with Chinese tea cups, then dredged with grated coconut and drizzled with gula melaka syrup. Pulut inti, in comparison, is a wee bit more trouble but still a doddle. The glutinous rice is steamed with coconut milk and coloured with bunga telang, and there's a topping made with grated coconut and gula melaka. Pulut inti is good so long as the topping isn't too sweet, and the rice isn't mushy. This is a pretty simple Nyonya kueh that really can't go wrong.

(Recipe for 10 portions)
Pulut (glutinous rice)
320 g glutinous rice (1½ cups)
120 ml water (½ cup)
¾ tsp salt
4 pandan leaves, bottom half only
rinse thoroughly; crumple by wringing
150 ml fresh undiluted coconut milk
65 bunga telang (blue pea flowers), fresh or dried
if fresh, pound finely, place in a small strainer, and press hard with back of tsp or thumbs to yield 4 tsp blue liquid;
if dried, sprinkle with 1½ tbsp hot water, pound finely, strain as above to yield 4 tsp blue liquid
Inti (topping)
4 pandan leaves, bottom half only
rinse thoroughly; crumple by wringing
2 tbsp water
200 g peeled and grated fresh coconut
80 g medium brown palm sugar, roughly chopped
4 tsp sugar
⅛ tsp salt
¼ cup water
½ tbsp tapioca starch

To make pulut, rinse glutinous rice till water runs clear. Drain thoroughly in a sieve. Transfer rice to a bowl that holds 3-4 cups. Sprinkle with salt and stir through. Tuck pandan leaves in rice. Smooth the top. Add 120 ml water. Steam 15 minutes over rapidly boiling water. Drizzle with half of coconut milk. Mix with chopsticks till absorbed. Drizzle with remaining coconut milk. Repeat mixing with chopsticks. Make a few holes in the rice, then resume steaming, this time for 5 minutes. Drizzle with blue flower liquid. Continue steaming till rice is cooked but not mushy, about 5 minutes. Taste and see if it is. If slightly undercooked, steam another 5 minutes. If very undercooked, sprinkle with 1-2 tbsp water, then steam 5 minutes.

Have a taste when rice is done, with some grated coconut prepared as detailed below. Add more sugar, gula melaka or salt if necessary. Remove from heat and discard pandan leaves. Rake with chopsticks to mix blue and white rice. Leave on a wire rack till cool, then cover till ready to serve.

To make inti, place 2 tbsp water and pandan leaves in an electric rice cooker on cook mode. When pandan leaves are fragrant or cooker changes to keep warm mode, add grated coconut, palm sugar, salt and ¼ cup water. Stir to mix thoroughly. Press cook button and cook 10 minutes. Sprinkle with tapioca starch. Stir to mix thoroughly. Continue cooking till cooker changes to keep warm mode. Check that gula melaka and sugar are melted. If not, continue cooking 5 minutes or so on keep warm mode. Have a taste as detailed above. Discard pandan leaves. Leave on a wire rack till cool, then cover till ready to serve.

To serve, place ⅓ cup rice on a small plate and top with 2 tbsp grated coconut, or 3 tbsp for those with a sweet tooth. If you like, you could wrap each portion in a piece of banana leaf, like ICook4Fun. Leftovers should be refrigerated. Sprinkle with a bit of water, steam to reheat thoroughly, then cool to room temperature before eating.


Anonymous said...

Where can I find the blue flower?

Rach said...

Hi, can you share a fish head curry or yu pian mi fen recipe?

KT said...

Hi Rach

Yes, I will. Stick around.

Lizzie Slothouber said...

Dear KT,

For those of us unable to access the BUNGA TELANG what would you suggest - as I would suspect using food colouring wouldn't achieve the same affect :( - instead of it being colour splotches the whole batch of rice would be a uniform blue ...

KT said...

Hi Lizzie

You'll get splotches so long as you don't overmix the colour. Doesn't matter whether you use flowers or artificial colouring.

Lizzie Slothouber said...

Thank you very much for your response .. I'll report back when I try it out :)

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